Transformative Technologies Offer New Opportunities for Clinical Trial Industry

Kimberly Ray, Consultant

Current and prospective clinical trial practitioners sell themselves and the future of the industry short if they view technology as a threat and not an opportunity, says long-time clinical trial leader Kimberly Ray, one of the authors of a new white paper on The Impact of Increased Technology Use on the Clinical Research Workforce. Now a consultant, Ray is a former vice president of site and patient networks at IQVIA.

The white paper is available free on ACRP’s website. It highlights recent trends in technology use in clinical trials; definitions of fully decentralized and “hybrid” trials; technology impacts on traditional workforce roles; and potential new roles likely to emerge.

“Some people are worried sites will go away because of technology and the advancement of decentralized trials,” Ray notes. However, that’s the wrong way to look at technology’s potential impact on the future of clinical trial operations and the new skills required to thrive in the workforce.

“Technology offers clinical trial practitioners a great opportunity to expand their roles and responsibilities,” Ray says. In fact, she suggests a technology infusion in clinical trials will result in “more hybrid trials, more jobs, and more flexibility” in the industry.

The white paper was developed by a multi-stakeholder working group including representation from technology suppliers, contract research organizations (CROs), sites, and more.

The working group emphasizes the need for continued collaboration among stakeholders to improve clinical research, improve patient recruitment and retention by increasing convenience for patients, and introduce direct information streams to improve data quality.

“These changes will lead to shorter times to market for important medicines,” the group concludes. “However, it will require patience and understanding to navigate our way through this transformational change. All of the key stakeholders—sponsors, CROs, and sites—will need to collaborate closely to achieve these important goals.”

Author: Michael Causey